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IAAF World Relays return with new host

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The IAAF World Relays, an early season, relays-only international track and field event, will move from the Bahamas to Yokohama, Japan for the next edition May 11-12.

The World Relays debuted in 2014 in Nassau and were held again in there in 2015 and 2017, switching to odd-numbered years only.

Usain Bolt competed in the 2015 edition, anchoring Jamaica in a 4x100m defeat to Ryan Bailey and the U.S. American sprint stars Allyson FelixJustin Gatlin and Noah Lyles also competed in either 2015 or 2017.

The IAAF said that the Bahamas government would no longer financially guarantee the event, which opened it up to “several” nations that expressed interest in hosting.

The new host, Yokohama, gives Japan’s two largest cities global track and field events the next two years, peaking with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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How to watch IAAF World Relays

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Olympic champions Justin Gatlin and Elaine Thompson lead the U.S. and Jamaica at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, live on NBC Sports Gold on Saturday and Sunday.

Gatlin and Thompson, as well as fellow Olympic champions LaShawn MerrittYohan Blake and Shaunae Miller, are ramping up their outdoor seasons ahead of the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

At the world relays, national teams compete in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x800m events and a mixed-gender 4x400m.

Action begins each night at 7:35 p.m. ET with heats.

Entry Lists | Full Schedule

The finals schedule:

Saturday
10 p.m. — Women’s 4x800m
10:21 p.m. — Women’s 4x200m
10:36 p.m. — Men’s 4x100m

Sunday
8:47 p.m. — Men’s 4x800m
9:11 p.m. — Women’s 4x400m
9:29 p.m. — Men’s 4x200m
9:55 p.m. — Men’s 4x400m
10:13 p.m. — Women’s 4x100m
10:30 p.m. — Mixed 4x400m

In addition to live NBC Sports Gold coverage each night at 7:30 p.m. ET, the World Relays will air from 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. both nights on Universal HD.

NBC Sports Gold’s “Track and Field Pass” for 2017 is available for $69.99. It also includes coverage of Sunday’s London Marathon, next week’s Drake Relays and Penn Relays, all 14 Diamond League events starting in May, the U.S. Championships and the world championships.

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Usain Bolt expects to miss World Relays

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Usain Bolt doesn’t expect to compete at April’s IAAF World Relays, a global, two-day meet in the Bahamas made up of only relay races, according to Agence France-Presse.

“My coach hasn’t said anything about it [World Relays], so I doubt that I will be competing there this year,” Bolt said Sunday, according to AFP. “I am just trying to stay injury free.”

Bolt’s only known scheduled meets at the moment are the world championships in London in August and the Racers Grand Prix on June 10, expected to be his final meet in Jamaica before retiring at the end of this season.

Bolt’s only races so far this year were relays and a 150m in Australia in February.

The IAAF World Relays started in 2014 and have taken place yearly outside of Olympic years.

Bolt’s one and only appearance at the meet was in 2015, when he and the Jamaican 4x100m team were upset by the U.S.

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